Richard Blake, World Heavyweight Champion of the No Limits mixed martial arts organization trains at Xtreme Sports, our local MMA training center.
Xtreme Sports puts their students through rigorous drills and exercises that mold them into human weapons. You can literally taste sweat in the air when you walk into the building.
For the past 15 years mixed martial arts has been steadily gaining popularity but has never received more attention than it does today.
MMA fighting is now an internationally recognized sport and is seen in a positive light, a far cry from its beginnings as a “barbaric blood sport” to determine which fighting style was the best.
At first tournaments saw an array of different fighting styles, such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu which consists of ground fighting and submission holds, as well as Muay Tai, known as “the art of eight limbs” which focuses on strikes utilizing hands, elbows, knees, feet, and shins.
Soon fighters realized that every style had its weakness and that a combination of different disciplines was much more effective than focus on just one.
These conclusions resulted in the practice of more than one fighting style-ergo the name “mixed martial arts.”
Due to campaigns to ban the sport lead by Presidential Candidate Senator John McCain, who deemed it “human cock fighting,” mixed martial arts organizations such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship have gradually toned down over the years with the addition of new rules and regulations.
In the beginning of the UFC only biting, eye-gouging, and strikes to the groin were prohibited. Today all MMA organizations follow the strict guidelines of the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts, a compilation of extensive boundaries to protect fighters and keep fights fare and interesting.
Thanks to organizations like the UFC, a sport once plagued by controversy is now being considered as an Olympic event and generates more revenue than any other pay-per-view events.
Even Hollywood is hopping aboard the MMA train with the upcoming release of Never Back Down. An MMA inspired movie that is sure to boost interest in the sport even further.